Apple Supply Chain Rumors: iPhone 6 Possibly in July, Apple TV and iWatch in Fall reported Wednesday that a securities analyst who has contacts in Apple's supply chain says production of the iPhone 6 appears to be ramping up earlier than one would expect for a September launch, meaning that it could appear as early as July. It seems doubtful, and the bulk of the recent rumors have been suggesting September. On the other hand, analysts have been saying Apple needs to come out with a larger iPhone ASAP in order to stay competitive in a market that's rapidly moving toward larger devices. So perhaps Apple has indeed decided to try to speed things up. The analyst also says that his checks confirm that Apple's next generation of phones will have larger displays. His supply chain checks also indicate that Apple appears to be gearing up for a launch of an Apple TV set-top device and an iWatch, both no earlier than the second half of 2014.

So all this is exciting news, and I can't wait to see what's coming. I believe Apple still has a few tricks up its sleeve, and that the desire for something new from Apple will be fulfilled.

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Also, I'm starting to wonder whether Apple might also have some sort of more formal iBeacon launch. According to the website BEEKn, Apple has now released a specification for iBeacon. Those who want to make iBeacon compatible devices, and advertise them as such, will need to conform to this specification. Plus, the step indicates Apple is now exerting more control over its iBeacon trademark. This is a fascinating new technology with many potential applications. BEEKn says Apple's patent covers mobile payments, advertising, retail services, trade shows, and other uses.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.